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Page:Comedies of Aristophanes (Hickie 1853) vol1.djvu/182

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166
1183—1204.
THE CLOUDS.

Strep. Cannot it?

Phid. Certainly not; unless[1] the same woman can be both old and young at the same time.

Strep. And yet it is the law.

Phid. For they do not, I think, rightly understand what the law means.

Strep. And what does it mean?

Phid. The ancient Solon was by nature the commons' friend.

Strep. This surely is nothing whatever to the Old and New.

Phid. He therefore made the summons for two days, for the Old and New, that the deposits might be made on the first of the month.

Strep. Why, pray, did he add the old day?

Phid. In order, my good sir, that the defendants, being present a day before, might compromise the matter of their own accord; but if not, that they might be worried on the morning of the new moon.

Strep. Why, then, do the magistrates not receive the deposits on the new moon, but on the Old and New?

Phid. They seem to me to do what the forestallers do: in order that they may appropriate the deposits as soon as possible, on this account they have the first pick by one day.

Strep. (turning to the audience). Bravo! ye wretches, why do you sit senseless, the gain of us wise[2] men, being blocks, ciphers, mere sheep, jars heaped[3] together? Wherefore I must sing an encomium upon myself and this my son,

    is wholly abhorrent from the style of Aristophanes. Aristophanes wrote (vs. 1182) γένοιντ᾽ ἂν, and (vs. 1133) γένοιντο." Fritzsche. So good a scholar as Fritzsche ought to have known that the Greeks prefer to make the verb agree in number with the predicate, rather than with the subject. Herod. ii. 16, αἱ θῆβαι Αἴγυπτος ἐκαλέετο. See Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 63, 6. Matth. § 305.

  1. "ἂν appears also m the protasis, when the speaker would express an inclination to assume a contingent realization. It corresponds to the opt. with ἂν in independent propositions. Only in this view is εἰ ἂν, if perhaps, similar." Krüger. Cf. Aves, 1018. Harper, p. 90. Stallbaum, Plat. Men. p. 98, B. Hermann, Vig. n. 303, 287, ad Eur. Alc. 48. Reisig, Com. Crit. Col. p. 399. Bachmann's Anecd. ii. p. 371, 10.
  2. Cf. Ach. 919. Krüger, Gr. Gr. § 61, 2, obs. 11.
  3. "The reader must bear in mind that the spectators sat in rows, one above another." Droysen.